The Raspberry Pi Foundation is using Microsoft to help garner excitement over the announcement of its new Raspberry Pi 2.
The low-cost computer has been upgraded to include a more powerful processor and twice as much RAM, and for the first time, you can officially run the latest version of Windows without any hacks involved, as Microsoft has announced it will deliver a free version of Windows 10 for Raspberry Pi 2 later this year.
That means you could own a Windows 10 PC for $35. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Raspberry Pi?
A credit card-sized, single-board computer first developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in 2012. There's a series of Raspberry Pi models available, with introductory prices ranging from $20 (model A+) to $35 (Model B+), and they're all designed to both promote and teach basic computer science to school students.
The different models, such as Model A, Model B, and Model B+, each come with their own set of features. Model A has 256MB RAM, one USB port, and no Ethernet, for instance, while Model B has 512MB RAM, 2 USB ports, and an Ethernet port, among other things. Model B+ has the same specs as Model B but also 4 USB ports.
You can plug the Raspberry Pi board into your TV and a keyboard and use it in various electronics projects, including turning it into a desktop PC and playing with spreadsheets, word-processing, and games. It even plays HD video. The idea is that Raspberry Pi will help kids all over the world to learn programming.
Watch the promotional video above to learn more about Raspberry Pi and what it's capable of accomplishing. You can also find additional information through Raspberry Pi's FAQ page.
What is Raspberry Pi 2?
The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced on 2 February that the latest version of Raspberry Pi, called Raspberry Pi 2, is now on sale for $35. It has the same price and form factor as the existing Model B+, but it'll feature a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU, which provides 6x the performance, and 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM, which provides 2x memory.
All of the connectors are in the same place and have the same functionality, and the board still runs from a 5V micro-USB power adapter. Other new features include complete compatibility with the original Raspberry Pi, and support for ARM GNU and Linux distributions, including Snappy Ubuntu Core and Microsoft Windows 10.
Note: Raspberry Pi 2 is technically called Raspberry Pi 2 Model B.
Does it cost anything to run Windows 10 on Pi 2?
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has promised the Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 will be available free of charge. You just need to buy Raspberry Pi 2, then join the Windows Developer Program for IoT, and you will receive updates from Microsoft as they become available later this year.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation said it's been working closely with Microsoft to bring Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2, and it hopes to share more information in the coming months.
Is it the full version of Windows?
According to PC World, Raspberry Pi 2 won’t run a full edition of Windows 10. It won't even allow access to applications like Internet Explorer or Office. That said, Microsoft and the Raspberry Pi Foundation haven't confirmed anything yet.
Microsoft said via its Developer Center that it'll deliver a "version of Windows 10 that supports Raspberry Pi 2", and the OS will be free to the Raspberry Pi Maker community through the Windows Developer Program for IoT. More details about its Windows 10 plans for IoT won't be available until the coming months.
"We see the Maker community as an amazing source of innovation for smart, connected devices that represent the very foundation for the next wave of computing, and we’re excited to be a part of this community," Microsoft added.
Are the old Raspberry Pi models being discontinued?
The Raspberry Pi Foundation will not discontinue the Raspberry Pi 1 Model B and B+ boards. It'll also continue manufacturing the $20 entry-level Raspberry Pi, called Model A+, for the "time being".
Want to know more?
Check out the Raspberry Pi Foundation's blog post for more details about Raspberry Pi 2, including where the charity got the "6x" speedup figure from. Microsoft has also published a blog post, with details about Windows 10 for Pi 2.